It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through Term 3. Where is the year going? This week, School Stream is going to look at the benefits of attending conferences for Principals. With one of the busiest roles in our community, Principals can find it hard to step away and prioritise professional development, but there is much to be gained from attending one of these information-rich events. Let’s investigate.
We know you’re busy. Click here to see how School Stream helps a Principal in their role or keep reading for the benefits of attending a conference.
There are loads of conferences for Principals
Check your calendars because 2020 is already packed with wall-to-wall conferences for Principals. There are many different events focussing on everything from edtech, classroom innovation, varied pedagogical approaches, and just about every education-based discipline you can think of. So whether you are the Director of an Early Learning Childhood Centre or the Principal of a large secondary school, there will be a conference with the best thinkers, researchers, analysts and practitioners from your field.
Principals need PD too
We’ve talked extensively at School Stream about the importance of Principals and their impact on the schools they lead but in case you missed it, here is a quick recap:
- Principals shape school culture.
- Effective school leadership is one of the most significant factors on student progress, wellbeing and success.
- Principals have a strong influence on the culture of teachers and support staff.
Alongside all of this big picture stuff, is the nitty-gritty that fills a Principal’s day. The much-discussed Principal Workload and Time Use study carried out by Deloitte for the NSW Department of Education observed that Principals on average undertook 45 activities during a school day, with 28 of these activities being unique. It’s a massive and important role which is why PD and networking are both so important for principals and school leaders.
The benefits of attending a conference
There are multiple benefits to attending an education conference: listening to inspirational big ideas, gaining quick tips you can action now, developing new connections and strengthening old ones are just some of the benefits. Returning to school refreshed and inspired will benefit the whole school. At a personal level, attending conferences allows you to sharpen your leadership skills, as well as developing and nurturing a particular area of interest. If keeping abreast of tech-based innovation is your thing, there will be a conference for you. If meeting your colleagues to discuss issues specific to being a Principal is more your style, there is an annual conference in most states and territories.
What do networking and self-care have in common?
Networking is no longer confined to business leaders over boozy lunches. Networking is important for education professionals too. And while many might bristle at the term ‘networking’ it is more than meeting with people that may be able to help you advance professionally. Yes, networking is an important part of developing your career, but Education World has described networking as “a sounding board for leading change and a safety net for providing support”. Which brings us to self-care. As has been acknowledged, Principals face a daunting workload with unique challenges, and having the chance to see and socialise with others in a professional environment has the potential to provide the collegiate support that is so crucial to educators and school leavers.